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  • Originally posted by Ampster View Post

    It is pretty obvious there is a lot of difference between the weather in snowy cloudy Illinois and the deserts of California. Therefore it is no surprise optimal systems might be designed differently. More importantly the goals and cost structures, as well as the cost of the land and capital are different as well.

    Let me offer another opinion, not to say that you are wrong, but simply to point out that there are often several viewpoints and opinions about a subject. The value of forums like these, is the various opinions offered by people with different perspectives. That way the viewers and lurkers can form their own conclusions, whether they are in the Midwest or the Desert.

    The thing that I admire about Bruce's system is that it generates almost 2000 times the AC capacity of his inverters. I have yet to see a solar farm in the desert that rivals that.
    Having grown up in central NY state (a place with possibly marginally worse winters than Buffalo) and spending 25 yrs of my adult live in/around Buffalo, NY, I appreciate the winters here in N. San Diego county - which, BTW, and to not let you (or anyone else) either by ignorance or intent, or design or anything else infer by your desert reference, while drier and sunnier than a lot of places, is most certainly not desert, although I've lived in the desert as well.

    I'm not picking on you and certainly not Bruce, but I've lived in dryer sunny, winter climates including several years in Albuquerque, besides the 20+ yrs. of what many consider the goldilocks climate in N. San Diego county and places with what many consider brutal winter climates. Can either of you say that ?

    I've also designed PV and thermal systems as well as several residential housing designs and retrofits for both climate types. Can you say that ? I appreciate the design differences imposed by both climate types and other climates as well. Many of the same principles I learned and practiced while designing and stamping power and process system designs for the power, petrochemical and chemical process industries carry over to alternate energy system design, including dealing with the design requirements (and tradeoffs) imposed by environmental considerations in various climates.

    So, I'll chalk up your blinding flash of the obvious statement about climate variation and its importance in PV system design to your ignorance. I forgot more about the subject than you might ever know.

    To say or write to me or anyone who has the capability to design systems, or for that matter anyone who has ever lived in either type of climate you mention - including readers, members or lurkers here - that it's no surprise optimal alternate energy systems might be designed differently for different climates is not only no surprise, but a blinding flash of the obvious.

    However, one thing that is common to most all PV and solar thermal systems is that for stationary, flat plate solar energy devices there is one orientation that optimizes the integrated annual POA irradiance on the device. That orientation will almost always lead to the optimal operating efficiency and greatest annual energy harvest. Other orientations will, by definition, harvest less.

    1X/a while, but I'd suggest rarely, there may be practical aspects to an application where there is more than one orientation that maximizes annual POA irradiance. If they exist, I've not seen one.

    However, that's not to say, and I never meant to imply (although others it seems want to infer and so ascribe it to what I've written) that other design considerations that can and probably will most likely change the system orientation from the one that gathers the most energy to one that better meets other design requirements do not need to be considered. The impact of TOU tariffs on system cost effectiveness being one such example.

    After designing, running and managing engineering projects for a long time and doing so while trying to keep 10-20 balls in the air simultaneously and trying not to drop any of them - including cost/budget considerations, optimization and client perceptions as well as profit considerations my bosses may have - I think I appreciate managing priorities and design comprises more than at least some others.

    Why do you seem to be implying I don't appreciate several viewpoints and opinions about a subject ? IMO, a good, that is to say sizeable part of the value of forums such as this is indeed the opportunity it affords to offer opinions.

    While all opinions are to be respected, that doesn't make them equally correct or safe. Some are dangerous when expressed or acted upon. That leads to another good part of the value of these forums: To call out errors in expressed opinions that may be wrong/dangerous/just plain B.S. or lead to bad outcomes, personal injury or worse. I cite your temporary banishment some time ago as an example.

    All folks are to be respected, but not all opinions are based on reality. Those opinions that are incorrect or needing clarification need to be identified and called out. Peer reviewed literature does that quite nicely for the most part. Here, IMO only, we suffer fools all too much to the detriment of the forum credibility.

    Bruce's opinions are based on reality and experience, and as I've written several times, I pay a lot of attention to what he writes and feel I ignore his opinions at my peril.

    However, to Bruce:

    Take this FWIW, and meant respectfully but just as seriously. It looks to me that you're under some misapprehension(s) about the solar resource. One such misapprehension may be that, while environmental considerations may and probably will require orientation changes, it looks to me that you have a notion that, base on annual harvest per installed STC panel W, using several panel orientations will improve the annual harvest of your system(s), or that maybe it'll be more economical or cost effective. That may be correct, but based on what I think I might know, I doubt it. I asked for your orientations and array sizes for the purpose of doing some work w/PVWatts/SAM/my private stuff. While I note your use of multiple tilts to improve harvest and help with snow mitigation, I also note such adjustments are also possible with single orientation arrays.

    Not that it matters much, but if/when I design an array for a ground mount application where there's usually a fair degree of orientation flexibility, I start with a duty (load) and find the optimum orientation based on the solar resource availability. I then base the first design iteration on that orientation and modify the design as site conditions/constraints and project goals dictate with the goal of meeting all or as many of the design goals and constraints as possible while keeping as close to the max. output orientation as possible. Roof applications devolve to a rating type design based on picking the best, that is, most productive orientation among the available but probably more limited orientation choices. In such cases, multiple orientations are sometimes necessary to meet a duty, but, like life, they're not perfect, just the best available for that application and seldom optimal. Another of many reasons why ground mounts are usually better if given the choice.

    Even with few environmental constraints - no snow, sunnier climates, different temps., it looks to me that you are of the opinion that using orientations based on the idea that making a flatter output curve for sunnier days over a year will be better both for system efficiency and cost effectiveness. It also seems to me that you've come to that conclusion, or at least landed upon the notion that using the ratio of your annual harvest to your installed inverter capacity is a useful figure of merit. I am of the opinion that's not a good or maybe even valid criteria for measuring either system collection efficiency or for economic optimization.

    Annual harvest per installed STC (panel) W is a better metric, both for system efficiency (annual utilization) in terms of kWh/yr. harvested per installed STC panel W, or (and with a slightly different azimuth but similar tilt for TOU systems) average annual bill reduction per installed STC W.

    If one design goal is broadly defined as most bang for the buck, size the array STC wattage to the duty that gives the lowest LCOE mix of PV and POCO power and size the inverter with an eye to the max. panel array power output. Sometimes the inverter size limits can control a design for such things as off grid applications or for battery charging rate considerations or POCO demand rates if applicable and maybe some other conditions, but not usually or most often for common residential grid tie applications.

    I don't think I've read where you've written you have such imposed limitations (If I'm wrong or missed something on that, I apologize).

    Other environmental site conditions, limitations or application mandates or goals may require more than one orientation. But to be clear, while those other conditions may very well mandate off optimal orientations, and maybe even - although unlikely from my experience - splitting orientations, for most applications, I can't see a way that spreading out (lengthening) average daily average harvest times can, in and of itself, create a high(er) probability of improving system efficiency or cost effectiveness for most any residential grid tie application, pretty much regardless of climate.

    To restate, the one thing I've found to be most common to all active solar energy systems, PV or thermal - that there is almost always one orientation for PV panels or thermal collectors, active or passive, that optimizes yearly integrated POA irradiance on a flat plate solar device. And, maximizing annual POA irradiance is the surest and easiest way to get a leg up on system optimization.

    Parenthetically, and a bit off topic, for the PV/TOU rate considerations, there is also and usually a single (and probably different) orientation that optimizes the system cost effectiveness with respect to the system's ability to offset part or all of a residential electric bill that's different from the orientation that maximizes annual system output per STC W.

    Bottom line on all this: What happens with multiple orientations done for the purpose of spreading out the harvest so that inverter sizes might be reduced is that while inverter sizes may be reduced, the required array sizes in terms of total panel STC wattage will increase. That is, the average annual output per STC panel W (or m^2 of panel) will decrease, requiring corresponding increases in array costs due to increased array sizes required to meet the same duty including costs for panels and B.O.S material costs and any non DIY labor costs as expressed per installed STC W. At least to my experience those panel and B.O.S incremental are usually greater per STC W than the incremental material acquisition cost increases of inverters as expressed per nominal W increase in inverter capacity.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by bcroe View Post

      ...... Lately the experiment seems to be closer to the end than
      the beginning, with my list of goals being met. ..
      Meeting one's goals is an important issue in any system design. Thanks for your contribution to this body of knowledge. Many people with less than optimum sites or weather will benefit.
      Last edited by Ampster; 02-09-2020, 01:45 PM.
      9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

      Comment


      • Originally posted by J.P.M.
        Bottom line on all this: What happens with multiple orientations done for the purpose of spreading out the harvest so that inverter sizes might be reduced is that while inverter sizes may be reduced, the required array sizes in terms of total panel STC wattage will increase. That is, the average annual output per STC panel W (or m^2 of panel) will decrease, requiring corresponding increases in array costs due to increased array sizes required to meet the same duty including costs for panels and B.O.S material costs and any non DIY labor costs as expressed per installed STC W. At least to my experience those panel and B.O.S incremental are usually greater per STC W than the incremental material acquisition cost increases of inverters as expressed per nominal W increase in inverter capacity.
        What is new here, seems like we already agreed that work here is only remotely tied to money?
        Each application is unique, my methods being simply an option, not a definition of RIGHT. A
        clean sheet design is nice, but reality makes the problem much more complex.

        My first upgrade put to work most of the 14KW of extra solar panels previously on hand, using
        a very cheap double sided mount, and better utilized the rest of the system without overloading
        anything. Later, mounting panels to minimize snow clearing efforts was somewhat costly, a
        price I was glad to pay, and half the supports were aluminum left over from other work. Bruce Roe

        Comment


        • All, Different strokes for different folks. Many ideas seem straightforward, but practical field experience nearly always beats lunch time napkin notes.

          Ya'll can have your opinions and say, but we will often call someone out on bad or dangerous ideas. I find my self sometimes just rolling my eyes, as folks contemplate taking used batteries from various sources and slamming them into a charger and thinking its going to be fine, As fine as looking down the bore of a light saber and then switching it on.
          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

          solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
          gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

          Comment


          • Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
            ........

            Why do you seem to be implying I don't appreciate several viewpoints and opinions about a subject ? .........

            While all opinions are to be respected, that doesn't make them equally correct or safe. .....
            To call out errors in expressed opinions that may be wrong/dangerous/just plain B.S. or lead to bad outcomes, personal injury or worse. ......
            ..... but not all opinions are based on reality. ...........
            Your own words and the tone and style of your comments speak for themselves. I am happy to correct any mistakes of fact.
            No doubt we have different realities but isn't reality just an opinion? I am sure there are bad outcomes that we can agree upon but some opinions of bad outcomes are just opinions. Or, as Mike says, different strokes for different folks.
            Last edited by Ampster; 02-10-2020, 01:06 PM.
            9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

            Comment


            • Received my PSEG bill today based on the anniversary date that was set for last week of February. For a net meter anniversary credit for about 22 kWh, have been paid a 51 cents or just 2.33 cents per kWh (vs retail rate of about 16.5 cents per kWh). What a joke, hope to use all the power we generate before the anniversary dates hit!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by njdealguy View Post
                Received my PSEG bill today based on the anniversary date that was set for last week of February. For a net meter anniversary credit for about 22 kWh, have been paid a 51 cents or just 2.33 cents per kWh (vs retail rate of about 16.5 cents per kWh). What a joke, hope to use all the power we generate before the anniversary dates hit!
                Wow! That's the ridiculous wholesale rate I've been hearing about. Including the fees I think my retail rate with JCP&L is about 14.5 cents per kWh last bill I checked.

                I had nothing banked in Feb. but the end of the month was my Anniversary/true-up as well.

                Currently I'm at 1.116MWh this month with a few days remaining so I should be seeing some banked kWh very soon...

                I believe my meter read date is set for 3/30. Fingers crossed they won't pull the old "estimated bill" in their favor with all the craziness going on in NJ right now.

                12.35 kW - https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=67749

                Comment


                • Originally posted by NJturtlePower View Post

                  Wow! That's the ridiculous wholesale rate I've been hearing about. Including the fees I think my retail rate with JCP&L is about 14.5 cents per kWh last bill I checked.

                  I had nothing banked in Feb. but the end of the month was my Anniversary/true-up as well.

                  Currently I'm at 1.116MWh this month with a few days remaining so I should be seeing some banked kWh very soon...

                  I believe my meter read date is set for 3/30. Fingers crossed they won't pull the old "estimated bill" in their favor with all the craziness going on in NJ right now.
                  Since I never received a mailing from JCP&L acknowledging my anniversary change, I contacted them again and was basically told don't worry about it Contacted once again and insisted on a written acknowledgment and looked like the agent typed up a PDF in a hurry (typo and grammar) to shut me up lol. I will see real soon if how far off the numbers are this month. According to my consumption meter, as of right now I've banked 500KWh for March. Every month since start of winter, my billed kWh from JCP&L has been at least 300kWh more than what my consumption meter says. Last month I expected to be billed 160kWh but was billed 480. It was an actual reading. I took a couple of readings on a fully sunny day this week. This past Friday by 6PM, per the consumption meter I generated 60kWh in surplus, and the 40 reading on the JCP&L meter had gone up by exactly 60, so I have no doubt as to the accuracy of the consumption meter.

                  Very pleased with the production for March even with the many rainy and cloudy days. Max production in a day was 71kWh. The max on a single day was 76kWh in August last year when my system was first up. Perhaps in another month's time I will see >80 in a day?
                  https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=69875

                  Comment


                  • Excited to finally report my first 100% offset month, along with a new record production day (66.5 kWh) AND an extra 157 kWh banked with JCP&L on top.

                    JCPL 4.2020.jpg

                    PVO 3.2020.jpg

                    Many more records and banked kWh's to come in the stronger NJ solar months for sure.....


                    Just a heads-up, I'll likely transition to a new summary/update thread around my Year-1 PTO mark in Sept. 2020 because this thread is now VERRRRY long at 24+ pages.

                    All the discussion, disputes and shared experiences have been super helpful (mostly), but a bit long in the tooth for any new members to absorb/use.
                    Until next time guys!
                    12.35 kW - https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=67749

                    Comment


                    • Nice! Good that it's an actual meter read, given the crazy times right now.

                      Per my consumption meter, for March it generated 1.27MWh and consumed 800kWh, so I should have nearly 500kWh banked. Given that it's been off by 300kWh every month since winter, I expect it to be 200 in the bank. I hit over 70kWh on 3/26 and 27

                      Isn't it odd that I look forward to that electric bill every month lol.
                      https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=69875

                      Comment


                      • Nice! Good that it's an actual meter read, given the crazy times right now.

                        Per my consumption meter, for March it generated 1.27MWh and consumed 800kWh, so I should have nearly 500kWh banked. Given that it's been off by 300kWh every month since winter, I expect it to be 200 in the bank. I hit over 70kWh on 3/26 and 27

                        Isn't it odd that I look forward to that electric bill every month lol.
                        https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=69875

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by sunpoweredev View Post
                          Nice! Good that it's an actual meter read, given the crazy times right now.

                          Per my consumption meter, for March it generated 1.27MWh and consumed 800kWh, so I should have nearly 500kWh banked. Given that it's been off by 300kWh every month since winter, I expect it to be 200 in the bank. I hit over 70kWh on 3/26 and 27

                          Isn't it odd that I look forward to that electric bill every month lol.
                          New personal record today...73.43 kWh! Beat you by just a bit (73.12) according to PVoutput at least.

                          My SE Dashboard shows a slightly lower 72.85 I don't understand the variances since the my SE RGM inverter should be transmitting the exact same data to PVO.

                          Anyways, in other good news, the NJ SREC pricing rebound a bit from last weeks low of $209 to $214 now for 2+ units.

                          Wondering if the extra demand this month for all the "work from home" and quarantine will drive the prices up. Either way I'll likely trade in my available SREC's before the end of the NJ 2020 solar year in May.
                          Last edited by NJturtlePower; 04-03-2020, 08:55 AM.
                          12.35 kW - https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=67749

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by njdealguy View Post
                            For a net meter anniversary credit for about 22 kWh, have been paid a 51 cents or just 2.33 cents per kWh (vs retail rate of about 16.5 cents per kWh). What a joke, hope to use all the power we generate before the anniversary dates hit!
                            Our April 30th true-up date is fixed by our POCO. That is the end of their fiscal year and cannot be changed. Worst time of year to zero out the account because we often have banked 4000 kWh through the winter and spring right before we could use those credits the most in the Phoenix summer heat. Such is life.

                            Last year, we got 4.17 cents per kWh for our excess so about a $150-$160 account credit coming to us this May. That account credit works out to us paying $8 a month for being connected to the grid. We'll reach our ROI point in under 6 years (a few month from now). We very happy with that, especially when we aren't forced to use a TOU plan of any sort.

                            Dave W. Gilbert AZ
                            6.63kW grid-tie owner

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by NJturtlePower View Post

                              New personal record today...73.43 kWh! Beat you by just a bit (73.12) according to PVoutput at least.

                              My SE Dashboard shows a slightly lower 72.85 I don't understand the variances since the my SE RGM inverter should be transmitting the exact same data to PVO.

                              Anyways, in other good news, the NJ SREC pricing rebound a bit from last weeks low of $209 to $214 now for 2+ units.

                              Wondering if the extra demand this month for all the "work from home" and quarantine will drive the prices up. Either way I'll likely trade in my available SREC's before the end of the NJ 2020 solar year in May.
                              So they did the estimate on me, and shorted me ~400kWh - was billed 200kWh while I was expecting 200kWh banked

                              In better news, perfect production graph yesterday and new record of 77kWh in a day. Should have my next batch of 3 SRECs within the next 2 weeks
                              https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?sid=69875

                              Comment

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